Defining Your Team's Mission
Updated: Aug 20
Imagine you were meeting with someone who was raising support to be a missionary. As you talked with them, you could see their excitement for the work of God, but at this initial meeting, this person didn't yet have a location or people group they were targeting. In your conversation, it became evident your new friend was really excited to go do something for the Kingdom, and they wanted to go ahead and get started while they continued to pray about the specifics. You resonated with their heart for the lost, you felt the genuineness of their desire, and you pledged your support.
Now imagine, six-months later, you check in with your new missionary friend. You ask them how the support raising is going (They are more than half way to their support target!), and how God is preparing them. "We're still praying about specifics," they tell you.
A year goes by, you check in again. To your delight, your missionary friend has reached and even exceeded the support target. You're a bit concerned, however, to learn that a target location or people group has yet to be defined.
How much time has to go by before you begin wondering just how serious this "missionary" really is given a location hasn't even been decided on? At what point would you at least consider withdrawing your financial support?
This imaginary missionary without a field is you and me. Jesus has saved us, giving us resources of the kingdom, He has given us His Spirit, and a huge assignment, yet if we were asked 'what is your field? Who are you called to reach? What is your strategy?' most of us, with all of those resources pouring in, would say day-after-day, year-after-year, "I don't know. I haven't picked it yet."
Imagine if every disciple took finding their field with the same importance as a foreign missionary. But how do we do it? What are some practical ways to narrow down your mission field where you can work on building deep relationships with those who don't know Jesus? Consider the follow categories, which we will talk about more on Sunday:
Proximity - Those people that are close to you. (e.g. neighbors, co-workers)
Advantage: The ability to enfold people into community once they come to faith.
Challenge: It can sometimes be a pretty fixed group of people.
Solution: Prayer walks
Interests - Shared past time (e.g. poker, bookclub, goat yoga)
Advantage: It makes you relatable with lots of common ground to talk about. (cross-fit)
Challenge: You have to become very intentional about finding these people.
Solution: Be the hub!
Experiences - Often shared struggles or obstacles to overcome (e.g. getting out of debt, losing a child)
Advantage: Conversations go deep very quickly
Challenge: It requires a lot of time and emotional experiences
Solution: Recruit others
Service - Acts of mercy (e.g. serving the homeless, trafficking)
Advantage: Non-believers actively serving others, are often seeking the kingdom of God and they don't know it. They are putting time and energy into what they think will fix it.
Challenge: Often times these same people are hostile towards organized religion.
Solution: Distinguish Jesus from religion. Let them see genuine Christian community.